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Employee’s idea turns to useful innovation. New digital railway weighbridge at ArcelorMittal Ostrava

Ostrava, 31 October 2017 – Automatic quenching wagons at the coking plant, automatic extrusion of billets from the furnace and now even unmanned weighing of railway wagons. Innovation projects in the area of automation and digitalisation have seen their peak in the ArcelorMittal Ostrava steel plant recently. The latest project even comes from one of the company’s employees. The new fully digitalised railway weighbridge can even weigh wagons during the ride.

With no need to stop and a hundred percent accuracy. Such is the new automatic weighing machine installed in the transport operation area of the coke screening plant. The trapper, as the name of the innovation reads, looks fairly inconspicuous as for its task of weighing heavy-loaded railway wagons of several tons in weight. The main asset of the little post filled with electronic gadgets is the ability to work without a human operator.

”It is a big advantage of the new weighing machine that it can weigh both separate wagons at standstill and whole groups of wagons that pass through it without stopping. It offers many possibilities and variations in weighing. It is possible, for instance, to weigh some of the wagons statically and the rest during the ride,” explained Rostislav Cybel from the Transport plant who devised the project and put it into practice in cooperation with the technical unit, the automation plant and the Tamtron company.

In order for the weighing machine to be able to function this way, individual wagons need to be equipped with special chips. No more than ninety-two internal wagons only have them at present time and it is no serious obstacle indeed. The weighing machine is able to weigh wagons that are not equipped with chips, too. These can only be weighed over a distance and with the assistance of a human operator using a special software for the purpose, though. Thanks to the newly introduced weighing facility, which began to operate in September, it is no longer necessary to transport wagons to the weighbridge in the nearby Bartovice.

”This means considerable simplification in the flow of material, cuts in fuel consumption and shortening the operation time of locomotives. Increased carrying capacity railway station entry in Ostrava-Bartovice, where the wagons used to be weighed before, is the next positive effect. The solution will enable faster development of the company's information systems in the future as weights can automatically be shared with all control and information systems in the steel plant,” added Cybel.

ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s. is part of the world’s largest steel and mining group ArcelorMittal. Annually it produces over 2 million tonnes of steel, which is mainly used in construction and machinery. It is the biggest manufacturer of road safety barriers and the only producer of grain-oriented steel sheets in the Czech Republic. Besides the domestic market the company delivers its products to more than 40 countries around the world. ArcelorMittal Ostrava and its subsidiaries employ over 7 000 people. In 2016 average income was CZK 35 104. As a result of the completion of a range of above-standard greening technologies the company produces its products with the minimum possible environmental footprint. To contribute to making a more sustainable future possible, the company has set 10 sustainable development outcomes. The progress on each of the outcomes is reported on the Annual Review. The sole shareholder is ArcelorMittal S.A.

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News release Barbora Černá Dvořáková - PR manager & Spokesperson >